Green, J. (2012). The fault in our stars. New York: Dutton.
Intended audience: General YA
Personal reaction to the book:
SPOILER ALERT: Review contains spoiler.
OK, so it’s an emotionally manipulative tear-jerking exposed dental nerve ending of a book. What’s wrong with that? It’s also extremely well-written and it’s the first romance I’ve read from the Sarcasm Era (that hip, digital-native time when pithy sarcasm is The Coolest Thing), which gives it an outstanding voice (a quibble is that Hazel and Gus have the same snarky voice … but it’s what makes them such a match). It’s also the first book I’ve read by Green. I enjoyed the snarky back-and-forth of the Cancer Kids (both lead characters and Isaac), although I hope it is this book’s style and not Green’s style or I am one-and-done with him.
I would actually put it in the same category as A prayer for Owen Meany; in both the author creates a wonderful, vibrant, living character you want to remember and then kills them stone dead so every time you think of them you’ll be a little bit sad.
About the ending … it was pretty obvious Augustus was going to die before Hazel Grace from oh, about 50 pages in and that they weren’t going to get closure on AIA. I liked that this book ended with punctuation, not midsentence (I had to stop myself from peeking at that detail from about the middle of the book on). I can see how it’s a polarizing read … you have to accept these two weirdly verbose kids as characters in order to sign on. I could, and did, but some readers will hate it because of their tone.
Author facts: Green and his brother Hank regularly swap ideas on vlogbrothers, their YouTube channel. He has a link on his website titled: “Biographical questions for your school project, which I am really flattered you chose to do about me.” All of his books have been optioned as movies, with The fault in our stars the only one to make it to movie houses thus far.
Related website: http://johngreenbooks.com/